So unlike his previous work, I had the feeling Winslow "had always wanted to try political intrigue" as his motivation for this dog. It drones on interminably from cliché to cliché, never really building any suspense and it's protagonist is paper thin and not really very likable. By the time I gave up on the book (which I rarely do) I was hoping someone would just shoot the bastard.
About mid way through we are taken to a climactic moment that just begged for some imaginative escape or twist and we are offered a solution so implausible and uninspired that I thought the thing was over with, but sadly we had only reached the end of the first download.
This tome haas Virgil at his best, the hormonal sleuth fights off the babes as he fights crime in this caper with not only international intrigue, his is tossed into the world's hottest frying pan. Don't want to throw too much out there, but Sanford may rile some feathers with the light hearted touch he lays on terrorism and terrorists.
This plot has a new, higher levels of deception and machination that will have some comparing him to James Bond (with a fishing rod rather than a Beretta)!
Thoroughly enjoyed this romp!
A whiz-bang, non-stop caper with multiple angles of pursuit. The Gray man appears to have met his match and maybe had too much of a peek into his creation this time out. This time around Gentry is getting tired and manhunt technology is evolving faster than his skills of evasion, but he is the Gray Man and he is the best.
I'll not going to nit-pic this fine novel of intrigue and sometimes over-the-top brutality. It is superb escapist writing and I'm all for that!
Once the silly "I work from the back seat of a car" gimmick wears thin, a few minutes at best, we are left we what appears to me a book written by someone other than the author of the Harry Bosch novels. The ill-timed phrasing and awkward reading of this narrator just makes things worse for me.
The story lurches from cliched event/character to another and the author's (I do not believe Connolly wrote this or perhaps Bosch is someone else's work!) inability to make it sound anything but contrived and banal is just to much for me to stomach.
Does an author's fames give him license to bore us to death. Now there's a murder mystery plot worth pursuing!
I really enjoy Hickam's folksy, sharp toned story telling. His characterizations are well formed and plausible and these believable characters, far-fetched as they sometimes are, dew you in to 'know' and relate to them. This story tweaks history in a meaningful way and this reader brings them vividly to life. The problem with war stories is many times they push our sensitivities to the raw end of reality and Homer takes this brutality at times a bit too far. Gratuitous, even. Some of these scenes are sprinkled then culminated with heads rolling (literally) and human flesh finding its way onto the menu. But it is not so prevalent as to ruin the story's momentum.
This is neither my first Hickam tome, nor will it be my last. But the ending here is badly conceived and very clumsy. Admittedly, this tale would require a masterly conclusion considering the lengths to which we are taken. But Hickam falls very short of pulling it off. I was physically uncomfortable as I cringed and squirmed in my seat as he fumbled his way through it, but it did not completely detract from my enjoyment of this odd tale.
I am also pleased to discover that Stephen Hoye rivals Michael Kramer whom I consider the very best at droll, ironic humor. Kramer as the narrator is damn near enough to convince me to try a book, Fantasy excursions excluded, of course.
I wanted to be fair. I wanted to not think that an ex-TV guy that landed (all too briefly) on a great series idea/character, would not let his resultant villa in the South of France dilute his ability to write. So I waited a few months and read/listened to it again, and it just gets worse. Child (or whatever his real name is) likely pays someone to write this melba toast blather. And poor old Dick Hill, who was ill-fitted from the start, is sounding older than ever and decidedly unlike a middle-aged butt-kicker/philosopher.
The simple formula of happening across a wrong to right, then mowing his way through the obstacles like a rototiller after cleverly discerning the 'clues', has seen far better days. And it happened several books ago. I am astonished that late-comers even stuck around. I'm afraid Lee Child (or whatever his name is) has sunk his hooks into the 'dumbing down of the American gray matter' and the teeming masses just do not know any better.
I think those of us with any integrity left and understand what good writing can be, will reject this sub-par formulaic tripe and head for greened pastures.
Spent too much time sorting out the players in a muddled opening and it did not get better. I guess this has something to do with the genetics of identical twins, but frankly, who cares. Just because Turow tries to spice it up with politicians and billionaires, does not an interesting novel make. More evidence of a one-hit wonder!
A somewhat weak ending could not detract from this masterly portrait of the South. A rich diorama of small town life, full of real people wrapped in spot on dialogue, this guy is such a pleasure to read when compared to most other "best selling" authors.
These stories of spooks, hit men and their janitors need at least an inkling of plausibility that tethers them to reality to be entertaining. And the writing must be average, at least. This slow-moving train to know-where has the most preposterous conclusion I may have ever read.
The characters are thin and poorly developed. Cliche after cliche fills this droning mess and stultified, repetitive dialogue wears one down. Realizing he has written us into the proverbial corner, Battles concocts the most convoluted, nonsensical conclusion on record. I told myself it was a parody of a parody of a parody in order to justify the time I wasted, but, alas, there is no rhyme or reason for it.
The generation of video game players and other techno-beasts is aging. Whether they are becoming adults, as in reality-based productive citizens remains to be seen. Corporate-based cults like Google-ites tend to scare me as the charm and super-reality presumed by the cultist of this religion-like fervor, can lead it's minion down a rosy path to nowhere. Meanwhile, Google and their ilk are soaking up information on all of us, from our buying patterns to our political affiliations, and using them to who knows what end. The characters that control this data (and its eventual impact on our lives) are controlled by whom exactly? They are rich beyond having normal tethers to reality, and powerful enough to effect QOL issues for EVERYONE!
And that makes me more than a bit uncomfortable. The General Motors and General Electrics of the past simply wanted to monopolize their markets and control the political decision makers via Lobbyi$t$, while making ungodly amounts of cash. But at least they made some helpful things along the way. Now the world is controlled by a class of wealthy game players, that discussed their thievery as 'investment vehicles' that benefit a small few, while making exactly nothing useful.
Now we have the notion of 'belonging' to something as meaningless as a cult or religion, that pays us very well to do who knows what for who knows whom. All this brainpower would be better exploited in science and medicine, aimed at improving the quality of our lives without disturbing the natural environment in which we survive.
Penumbra's tale is an old one, but the setting here is not a creepy little bookstore. It is a masterful manipulation of many of our brightest young minds, a story from which we get very little, if anything.
Perhaps it is the monotone drone of the narration. Perhaps it is the convoluted, nonsensical plot. Or the contrived, implausible dialogue.
The protagonist, a dim-witted, spineless moron is buffeted about by a cast of room-tempeture IQed dupes and a band of psychopathic, murderous gypsies in the mysterious beach town at the end of the road by the the fabulous real estate parcel, all engage in the end game. Only no one knows what the winner gets.
Sound exciting? Get some help.
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